4 Good Reasons to Love the Boeing 747

Despite the inevitable, it’s understandable why you’d postpone some things if you could. Take the end of summer, reaching a certain age or your next dentist appointment. And if you love working in the airline industry as much as we do: saying goodbye to your favourite aircraft….

But then suddenly press releases began appearing at the beginning of 2016 about our parent company Air France. And then there’s no way around it. In the years ahead, even KLM will be saying goodbye to the “Grand Old Lady” of the fleet, the Boeing 747-400.

Boeing 747 KLM

Staving off a tendency towards melancholy, we’ve opted not to let our favourite topic – aircraft engines – take centre stage. This blog is a modest tribute to the KLM 747-400.

1. She was a game changer

Google “747” and see for yourself: the first 747 jumbo jet changed the airline industry more than 45 years ago. After all, it made it possible to travel a long distance with numerous passengers for the first time. The world became accessible to the masses. Numerous upgrades have been pushed through since the initial introduction of the first 747. Often used as a cargo carrier, the 747-800 is the latest type. Luckily, the characteristic exterior with the hump at the front has always remained.

Boeing 747-400

2. As graceful as a swan

Most big aircraft look somewhat cumbersome when landing. There’s nothing cumbersome about the entry of the 747. With her almost arrogant nose turned up slightly in the air, she pretty much glides onto the runway. The comparison with a swan in KLM’s world-famous advertising campaign couldn’t be more fitting. A big, beautiful, elegant bird, made to fly. You could almost fall silent at this point, if there wasn’t so much more to tell.

KLM Swan

3. Everything is impressively big

Do you remember your first car, or your first kiss? We remember the first time we came face-to-face with a KLM 747 during a maintenance check. In Hangar 14, we use maintenance bays where the aircraft are “docked”.

That’s how, years ago, when we arrived in bay two, we literally came face-to-face with a 747 undergoing maintenance. The wingspan is comparable to a 20-lane highway, the four CF6-80C2 engines are good for power close to that of 100 F1 racing cars and, most of all, the impressive nose, where the upper deck is around six storeys above the ground.

4. She’s highly photogenic

The 747 is probably also the most photographed plane. She’s just so exceptionally photogenic. It’s hardly surprising that the best selfie ever was taken during the previously mentioned Air France 747 farewell flight. This flight was escorted by an honorary cordon of Patrouille de France, the demonstration team of the French air force. One of the fighter jets flew upside down above the 747 and then took this selfie.

selfie with 747

Why is KLM bidding farewell to this aviation legend?

Aside from all sorts of financial reasons which we will not burden you with, we feel it’s very much a question of getting out when you’re on top. The spotlights have to be shared with new stars like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 777. These aircraft are more economical, quieter and offer passengers more comfort.

If you happen to fly KLM in the near future in a KLM 747, remember this: you’re making airline history.

It’s an aircraft you can’t help loving!

KLM moving your world

Sounds familiar?

It’s quite possible you’ve heard or read this before. We’ve posted this blog in May, 2016. So this actually is a repost. But let’s be honest: staring at the lovely 747 never gets old, right? ;-)

Can’t you get enough of our Queen? Neither does our crew, read the honour by our crew!

Posted by:   Jacky van Damme and Miranda Stolk-Oele  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

Kunihiro Shimizu

Is B747-8 not economical to operate as passenger aircraft?
The aircraft will be very appealing to passengers. If there are few airlines fly the same sector and if KLM deploy B747-8 and other carriers fly other types, I will definitely choose only KLM for the sector. B747 upper deck is special space to me and many other flyers I believe.

Rob Van Genechten

If I could choose any plane, any seat… there is nothing better but the 70 series on the top floor….
Sad to se that disappear.


Hi Rob,

I totally agree with you, let`s just enjoy it!
Best regards,


Dear Kunihiro,
Thank you very much for your reply
It has several reasons & interests to come to a certain choice or decision.
KLM is considering all options available in the market on fleet renewall.
I think your suggestion is a very good option!
Best regards,

Luis Barata

100% agree. KLM says nothing about why not the 787-8i (not the Cargo they mention)

Alejandro Aguirre

Wonderful article on a great airplane. I would take issue with the comment on the increased comfort of the 777 or the Dreamliner as that has much to do with how the individual airlines choose to build out their interiors and, as you know, many airlines are putting more seats in certain parts of the their aircraft and reducing pitch as well as using narrower seats.

In any case, I still get a thrill seeing this jet fly…always brings me back to when I was a boy and saw my first one!

Daniel L. Berek

My very fond memories of the Boeing 747 in KLM colors go back even before the GE CF-6 engines. The first seven Jumbos were powered by Pratt & Whitney JT-9D engines and named after great rivers of the world (and painted with white tops before the blue became a KLM trademark). That’s right, we go back to 1971, when the first, PH-BUA (Mississippi) was delivered, more than 46 years ago. KLM’s Boeing 747s were the second I saw, close behind Pan Am. I lived in Buitenveldert (a suburb south of Amsterdam) at the time – they were beyond majestic at a time when the Boeing 707s, Douglas DC-8s, and Convair 990s on which I flew were the giants of the airliners. I lived right along one of the flight paths, so I got to watch the new pilots practice their touch-and-gos. From the ground, these planes looked like they were simply floating in place. Then, the parents of a friend of mine took me to observation deck Schiphol, so I could see the beast close up. It was also one of KLM’s Jumbos that were my second Boeing 747 I ever flew on (PH-BUA, PH-BUC, or PH-BUE, right behind N43PA). The 9-abreast cabin (later changed to 10) was a marvel to behold after flying on planes with 6 abreast. I was about 11 at the time; these memory’s are permanently embossed in my brain and imagination and, nearly a half century later, continue to stir the soul.

Wouter Blok





NOW TANTALUS.AG MADAGASCA GERMAN usa and british if your able to








Hi Simon,
Thank you once again for your impressive story.
Have a nice day!
Jacky and Miranda


This is awesome you are replying spammers :)

Phil Berry

It is a great aircraft and I love flying in it. Will be really sad to see it go. When will be the last KLM flight with the 747?

Marianne Caous

From the beginning of the introduction at KLM it was my xxxxx-favourite! And during a few years my son is captain on this aircraft, since then I love this type even more. I wonder when the last flight will be with this old lady.

Gerard Exmann

Hello Marianne,
is your husband name John by any change?if so ,
give him my regards.
Gerry Exmann


Hi Phil,
Indeed, saying goodbye to something which was great, is never easy to do.
The last flight will be around 2020, so we still have some time to say farewell.
Best regards,


Phil, that depends on market developments. But if required, KLM can continue until 2021 with a number of B747’s which recently received heavy maintenance checks.


Very nice post. How can you get tickets for the very last flight?


Hi Kristin,
Thanks for your reply, the last flight will be planned around 2020.
At this moment there is no exact date known, so the tickets regarding the Farewell flights are not available yet. Stay connected, so you be the first one to know!
Best regards,


Yay! Thank you for your reply!


i realy like the shape of the plane . sad to hear she is retire-ing.


Hi Vincent,
Her shape is certainly very unique, and just like a big star,
getting out when you are at the top!

Best regards,


I always loved to fly with the 747 and I am sure that for economical reasons it has to be replaced. I am not sure – if you would ask passengers – that they agree that the 777 offers more comfort with seats and aisles being very narrow.


The narrow aisles of the 777 are indeed dreadful, as every passenger and the usually broadhipped stewardesses wake you up by bumping those hips against these seats.


Hi Gijsbert,
Say goodbye to something which is great, remains difficult.
The new generation aircraft are eager to make their attendance, with their latest technology and quieter and more efficient engines, our crew is excited and impressed. I hope you get to experience this as well, but your first love will always be your first love…..

Best regards

Gašper Pernek

I’ll fly her in the end of October. AMS-SXM! Can’t wait. It’ll be my first time on 747!


Hi Gasper,
I`m sure this is going to be a great experience for you.
Lucky you ….a 747 flight to one of the most spectacular runways of the world.
Check out this video and don`t forget to visit Maho Beach.

Best regards


In a 747 to the Cariben sun, lucky you!
Enjoy it, Miranda

Helmi zakariah

Im gonna take my last 747 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 4th of June.

Its so sad to say goodbye to the grand old dame of the sky. I wish her a profound place in memory of all those who served the sky


Hi Helmi,
Thank you for sharing and have a nice flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Best regards,


Compared to the 787, the 747 is still a more attractive looking plane (imo), so it’s pretty sad to see her go. In a couple of weeks I’ll be taking a KLM 747 to SFO, so I’ll be sure to take in the experience as much as possible.

I’ve taken the same flight before and just like now, all seats were already booked way in advance. Given that a 747 can carry about double the amount of passengers a 787 can, how will you handle the change in capacity? Will you be doing multiple flights a day during busier months? And is the 777/787 still more economical if you do?


Hi Erik,

Depending on the configuration the 777 can actually carry more passenger then the 747. It’s most likely the candidate to take over destinations from the 747.
Have a good flight to SFO and thank you for your response.

Jacky en Miranda

Jim McDonald

I guess I am one of the few who are not as fond of the 747. I agree, it is a beautiful airplane, and is very photogenic. The identifiable hump at the front of the aircraft does make it one of the most identifiable passenger or civilian cargo aircraft ever produced. And in the earliest days, it was, indeed, most comfortable. However, as airlines started cramming more and more passengers into their aircraft, comfort became a distant memory. I am over 6 feet tall (that’s over 182 cm), and on a long-haul flight I like to be able to sit without my knees pressed against the seat back in front of me. Granted, I have not flown a KLM 747 in quite some time, and this may not be a problem on KLM. With all of that said, I will be sad to see the 747 retired from major airlines. Lufthansa still uses them quite a bit, and I am unsure if they plan to phase them out any time soon. But with the newer Boeing and Airbus aircraft that are more efficient, and more comfortable for passengers, it is only a matter of time.


Hi Jim, Thank you for your response. You might want to consider KLM Economy Comfort with your lenght.
Kind regards, Jacky and Miranda


There is a little mistake in the first paragraph: “our parent company Air France”
It should be Air France – KLM.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog anyway Willem.
Kind regards, Jacky and Miranda

Henk Rolvink

I remember my very first flight with a 747. It was in 1972 and with a friend we were going to Mallorca for our holiday. We were allowed to go up the spiral stairs and sit in the big chairs. After this, many more flights wit a 747 followed, especially to Asia and I always enjoyed it.


That’ exactly what we mean Henk, remembering the first flight with a 747 :-)
And we’re happy to read you’ve enjoyed it.

Kind regards, Miranda


I have often flown upstairs on a KLM 747 and loved it. There is something really special about flying on this plane. I recently flew on a 787 Dreamliner and there definitely wasn’t as much room as on the 747. It will be missed!


It is such a pity that the Dreamliner has no upstairs…
Kind regards, Miranda



I also love the KLM 747, I’d like to be kept in the loop for the final flight of the 747.

Has KLM ever looked at the 747-800 as a viable alternative?

Love the blog as always!


Hi Stephen,

I’m sure more post will come on the final flight of the 747, when the time comes. Luckily we still have a few more years ahead of us :-)
And yes, KLM is considering all options available in the market on fleet renewall.

Thanks for keeping track of our posts. Until next time!

Kind regards Miranda

Anton Stepanov

I’ve been on the KLM B747 only once and I have to say that it wasn’t the best experience. The plane is very old, the seats are old, the facilities are old and it’s definitely time to move on. Retrofitting aircraft like that is very expensive and difficult, so in fact I’m happy to see it go and be replaced by the 777 and 787.


But still we are a bit said thought on its departure….
Thank you for your response Anton.

Kind regards, Miranda

P van Straaten

We always travel with the 747 when we visit Curacao.
Last friday, for the first time we did fly with the Drramliner. It this plane 45 minutes longer to get there . That is to much and does not compensatie the advantages the Dreamliner should have. In August we fly with KLM 747 again…..


First of all, thank you for choosing KLM, unfortunately I am not aware of flight time to Curacao.
Sorry that you ‘re disappointed about the flight time to Curacao, unfortunately I am not aware of the details.
May i suggest that you contact our KLM Customer Care +31 20 4747 747 they will inform you about the current flight time ( perhaps there was a delay)
Kind regards,


747 has the highest wing sweep-back of any modern commercial airliner, so it can go a bit faster before hitting its “sweet spot” of speed versus fuel consumed.

Also on such a long flight, you could have encountered higher than normal headwinds on this particular trip, it happens.

Alwin Niemeijer

Is Air France a parent company? Or ………


Hi Alwin,
Air France & KLM, one group, two company`s and both parent airlines.
From my point of view, a good combination!
Best regards,

Ian Miller

Wouldnt know as i have never flown in a 747 and totally agree she is a gorgeous aircraft.


Thank you Ian, we totally agree.
Best regards
Miranda & Jacky

Kees Lodders

It is like about 46/47 years ago when KLM say good by to the Super Constellations and the DC7-C . Special the Conny’s where the lady’s of the sky. And now the 747 also they are great planes and made air travelling finally cheaper.


Dear Kees,
We have had the honor to work on the DC 3 Dakota , and I found this all pretty impressive.
But Conny was something else, the last romantic aircraft design, elegant & stilish, still be seen in the Aviodrome in Lelystad.
Thanks for sharing,
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Paul Bradley

The KLM 747-400 is one of the most beautiful planes in the sky. She will be sorely missed. I really hope KLM does a special event for the last flight, I would do everything in my power to be a part of that (note to KLM: see what SQ did with the inaugural run of the A-380 – a charity auction for seats on the plane with a classy party. That would be a great send-off for her)


Thank you for your suggestions Paul. We would love to be on the last flight as well!
Jacky and Miranda


Will all the pilots retrain or retire?

I love row 77 on the upper deck and usually choose it when flying KLM long haul. It always feels quiet and peaceful…

Sad to see them going, BA are gradually retiring their huge fleet too.


Hi Racheal,
Thank you for your nice reply.
The upper deck is indeed very comfortable, very good choice on row 77.
Our pilots are trained well when a new type of aircraft entering the fleet, the age of our crew is various, so there is a good balance.
Experience our new fleet, and we hope you continue to fly KLM.
Kind regards
Miranda & Jacky

Nicholas Iacullo

I took the Melbourne to Germany, what a big graceful lady that landed so softly,we didn’t know we landed and everyone clapped.


Hi Nicholas,
That is exactly what we mean, she pretty much glides on the runway.
We believe no other aircraft can do this.

Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky


I would love to see it stay. Flew with it many times. Indeed, as someone else remarked before here, why not consider the 747-8? What does Lufthansa know, that KLM is missing?


Hi Hans, there are so many things to consider in choosing a new aircraft, we’re happy that we are just bloggers and not having to make that kind of millions of dollars decissions.
Kind regards, Jacky and Miranda


A fantastic plane, I guess will be so much missed from the sky. Nothing compares to this awesome sightseeing of a Jumbo 747…
I m happy that I had the pleasure to fly a couple of good times with the queen of the skies.


Thank you for your comment Adrian, we have nothing to add to it!
Kind regards, Jacky and Miranda

Pieter C Alderden

She will eventually be missed. Gliding towards the runway ? The best one able to do that, in my humble opinion, is the Airbus :330-200 and -300 !! Why not choosing the 747-800 ? Because Boeing will not build the Combi version.


Hi Hans,
Thanks for your reply, I think you`re a really big fan.
It has several reasons & interests to come to a certain choice or decision.
Just as people, companies are fortunately also different from each other.
New generation of aircraft makes it`s appearance, we welcome the future.

Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky


I fly LAX-AMS regularly with KLM and love the 747. I used to take special care to choose the 747 over the MD-11 (aka DC-10) which also flew that route in high season, because the 747 was faster and more comfortable. I haven’t tried a Dreamliner yet, and while I’m sure it’s a fine aeroplane, I doubt it will offer the same level of comfort as a premium economy seat on a 747. So I will make the most of my upcoming trip in June, it may be my last flight on a KLM 747, but it won’t be my last flight with KLM. Love this airline!


Dear David,
We are very glad and proud to hear that we share the same passion.
And are very curious about your experience with our Dreamliner, we ‘d love to hear what you think.
Best regards
Miranda & Jacky


When i visit a 747 in hanger 14 i was impressed by the size of it. In the wheel bay ,the cargo bay and the cockpit . The flight on KL601 to LA in business class I shall never forget.


We know the feeling!

Patrick v.d. Heuvel

Zwaanzinnig artikel :-) Stoelrij 1 in 747 is fantastisch met uitzicht een beetje schuin naar voor. Geeft ook een grappig gevoel om voor de piloot te zitten (hoewel een verdieping lager). Ga de farewell vlucht zeker in de gaten houden !


Dank je Patrick, zeker een bijzonder ervaring op stoelrij 1!
Voor de Farewel vluchten zal er veel belangstelling zijn, dus wees er snel bij!
Vriendelijke groet,
Miranda & Jacky

KLM B747 lover from New York city.

Dear KLM

It was February 1971 and boarded KL641 AMS-JFK on its inaugural flight to New York onboard the majestic B747-200 (PH-BUA) into JFK, had flown lots of DC8-53/61 North & South Atlantic crossings on KLM over the past years but the B747-200 was magical, remembering the here size the cabines her spiral staircase to the upper deck where you had your Royal Class lounge, I was only 13 years of age at the time and it left a huge imprint on my retina and spoiled me for the rest my the love bond that was created between KLM the B747 and myself.

These days I am truly very sad that you have stopped deploying the B747-400 for your KL643/644 flights into JFK. The boring B777-200 uncomfortable cabins in C and Y, I truly miss her on this route, besides after all these years of suffering in your old C-class seat product, KLM finally has seen the light and has started the change over to full flat in business the new cabin layout on your B747-400 is just beter than perfect, and then you take her away from me, and this for the ugliest bird in the sky the B777-200. Please make us loyally KLM Business and Economy pax happy once more at least still she is phased out all together from your fleet, place her back on active duties for the KL643/644 routing, she and we’d love you for it, Thx Great article.


Kim G

Sad news. I flew the 747 very many times per year from the late 90’s through 2012, mostly AMS-ORD, but also to places like Hong Kong, Toronto etc. It is my favourite aircraft to fly in, particularly the small Economy Comfort section or the occasional bonus op-up into the wonderful upstairs World Business cabin. It’ll be sad to see the 747’s go, but you can’t stop progress. Now I’m living here in Chicago, I will miss seeing the “Big Blue” flying into or out of ORD.


Hi Kim,
We also are a little bit sad.
It was clear that this lady was special, but we didn’t think so many people have such a special bond.
Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Gerrie Brok

Just came back on flight KL 668 from Mexico city. Flew over 50 times with a 747-400 and every time its a privilege to fly with this graceful lady. Comfortable, smooth and relaxed on every intercontinental trip. Hope it will always stays a member of the KLM fleet.


Dear Gerrie,
You are definitely an experienced passenger, good to hear that you really like flying.
We think that the 747 mainly be the reason that flying is great.
Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your future flights!
Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Akbar Hayat Khan

I will consider my journey after this loss …. I had worked with KLM ( EX- KHI/BV /KL) and fly many times on this remarkable Aircraft ,,,,,,,,the most dependable , comfortable & trust worthy Aircraft of the world as yet ……………..

Please don’t do it ,,,,,I even can not imagine to travel with out this Aircraft ..



Dear Akbar,
Thank you for your enthusiastic response
As the decision would lie with us, we are sure that we would consider!
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky


Thank-you,for many,many safe and very enjoyable flights on your 747”s since the 1970’s. I will miss them.


Hi Mike,
Thanks for your reply, we appreciate this very much.
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Jonathan Wainer

She was, is and will always be the majestic queen of the skies. It saddens me and all those who had the privilege of working as crew on the 747’s that she will one day be confined to either the breaker’s yards or museum pieces, and for the lucky individuals who can afford to keep some of them , a few will survive.


Dear Jonathan,
Thanks for sharing, shame it ends like this, but the memory remains!
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Félix Maltchinski

Sometimes KLM is sending the 747 to YUL at the last minute.


Hi Félix,
KLM is always trying as much as possible to fly efficiently, as an example, the number of passengers in combination with the cargo, which can often be decided at the last minute. We hope you enjoy her visits!
Kind regards
Miranda & Jacky


Will miss the 747-400 (Combi). We fly it at least once a year between IAH and AMS. Always fly upper deck and try for row 77 port side. A wonderful aircraft with plenty of space upstairs. Hope they keep the Combi running to the end.


Hi Bob,
We often hear that row 77 is very popular,
So we hope this seat is available on your next visit to Amsterdam!
Kind regards
Miranda & Jacky


She’s taking me to MEX in a couple of days, and I’m so excited to finally get to fly with her :)


Hi Rodrigo,
We’re sure you will enjoy it, let us know how your experience was!
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Phil Pelch

The 747 unknown to most of their passengers also carried thousands of horses, mules, donkeys across the sea for years, with a dedicated KLM groom and the ranchers grooms.

Tom R

I only recently started becoming an “av geek” however have taken quite the liking to the Queen. That being said, it currently seems like the KLM 400s are today’s most photographed, perhaps the flagship 747s around! Hopefully the -8i is in the future for KLM! Also thanks for the great social media, really enjoy it!


Hi Tom,
Sometimes it takes time to appreciate certain things, Congratulations, you passed!
She is indeed so photogenic, it is unmatchable!
Thank you so much for enjoying.
The very best,
Miranda & Jacky

Timothy R KImpe

I spent my whole working years (44) in aviation industry. The last 15 were in engineering on the 747 final assembly line. I think l have been over every inch of her. She is a true work of art.


I really love this company.


Hi Reggy,
We love to work for KLM, and we are pleased that you think the same!
Kind regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Jacob Kajuiter

So sorry to say farewell to this legend, as a friend of the 747 it’s strange to say farewell.


Hi Jacob,
A few comforting words that always help us,
We never say goodbye,because saying goodbye,
means going away, and going away means forgetting!
Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky

Johnny holmqvist

When i read i feel sad….i love the iconic 747.


Hi Johnny,

It is not our intention to make you sad, but sometime love hurts.
We wish you the best,
Miranda & Jacky


M and J, you said the 747 is six storeys high?. Unbelievable.


Hi Adiza,

It`s amazing, really so unbelievable how huge she is.
You feel really small when you next to her.( good for us..)
Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky


I just had a flight with Lufthansa 747-800, much better than the 777 and the a380 , would even discuss much better than the Dreamliner , so KLM yes your 747 fleet is outdated but look at all the positive reactions to consider the 747-800. Choose wisely when updating your fleet.


Dear Chap,
Thank you for your reply, and very well observed!
We had indeed received many positive reactions, more than we expected and we are very grateful for. KLM is considering all options available in the market on fleet renewall. We have full confidence!
Best regards,
Miranda & Jacky


As a flight attendant of some 40 years (wow the longest 2 years of my life) I must make a comment about the Boeing 747! Of all the aircraft that I have flown on she was the best. Our company did away with her years ago & I as well as many of my fellow crews would agree, she was the best to work on. We felt like we were proud to be on that big bird. She had room & I really can’t explain the feeling of boarding that girl. Even if it was just a turn to Toronto from Vancouver or to Hong Kong. Didn’t matter. Just a quick funny story about our old airline CPAir. We were the first to land in Cardiff Wales. The marshal waving in the flight did not judge the wing span of this new 747, the BBC was on hand to record this epic event, he (the marshal) misjudged the length as it ended up going through the terminal windows at a fair clip which made the marshal drop his batons & run away. I guess he knew he was in big dodo!!!Still miss the girl.


Dear Loreto,

If you could see us right now, you see a big smile on both our faces, so enjoyed your story, thank you for that!
Best wishes,
Miranda & Jacky

Joy Hingorani

Love this Superb BLUE BIRD, Just cant compare any other aircraft like a 747 JUMBO… Have done about a Million Miles with this Blue Lady in last 25+ Years :-)


Hi Joy,

We are totally agree with you, the color blue is perfectly for this Lady!
Enjoy your next Million Miles.
Best regards
Miranda & Jacky


Indeed very good memories of flights with 747, remember sharing a bit of time with the pilots in the cockpit ( still possible in those days) flying over Siberia back from Korea. Upper deck was the best place to travel. Landing in Honk Kong using the (in)famous Checkerboard Hill approach at Kai Tak.
But times change, recently had a day’s delay as a part of a 747 broke and spare part could not be located in time (BA) from Denver to UK, so yes a good reason to change.


Landing at Kai Tak, that’s something we had to say goodbye to as well! Hopefully all changes will lead to more good new experiences.
Have safe travers, Jacky and Miranda

Cees Dool

So sad…
Without the B747 KLM will loose it’s gracious flag ship.

B787 or B777 are just “one in a dozen” planes they will never achieve the status of your queen of the skies.

Watching such light blue Giant lining up on the runway and reaching for the skies one felt proud of our Royal Dutch Airlines. It was also a great sight to see a KLM B747 at a foreign Airport like for example JFK. It felt like a little piece of “home” that one was watching.

For me abolishing the 747 feels like the beheading of the fleet.


Dear Cees,
Do not be sad when you can share such a beautiful memories with us.
Thank you,
Best regards
Miranda & Jacky

Derek Massie

Wonderful aircraft. Sad to see an era coming to an end.


Indeed Derek, the end of an era. But hopefull new things lay ahead of us. Thanks for your response, Jacky and Miranda

Mr. Jan Sas

The first time I ever stepped into a plane; December 28, 1980; the day we emigrated from The Netherlands to Canada.

Amsterdam to Montreal, KLM 747 .

I have flown KLM 747 many times since and I am scheduled to do so a few more times ( I make sure the plane is a 747 when I book the trip).

So sad to see the future and progress eliminate something so ‘ Majestic’, so identifiable to a specific airline, I have my doubts if there ever has been a plane more recognizable for ANY airline than the 747 in ‘true blue’ colors for the KLM, period. I am sure money and economics are eliminating this plane, but not every change in the past has proven to be the best decision, this decision will be another one.

I wonder if KLM or Schiphol would consider to retire one of the 747 planes to a ‘statue’ place at Schiphol?.

No doubt this plane has put KLM on the world wide map where it is today; what a symbol


I remember to fly the 747 to Paramaribo with my collegue twice (around1997)…He was (he died unfortunately) a very VERY VERY frequent flyer with KLM; for that (I think he spoiled me) he asked the crew for a kind of upgrade: we were seated in the upper deck at 1 a-b…at least at the very front…can’t remember if that meant BC…but it was impressive…never enjoyed a flight more than that!


Dear Onthew, thank for shaming this happy memory with us. Indeed you were in business class!
All the best, Jacky and Miranda

Usman Bayero

Farewell Grand Old Lady!


You mean the 747, right Usman? We are not ready for retirement just yet
Thank you for your response, Jacky and Miranda


My first trip abroad was on a KLM 747. The previous day I saw it arriving in Mexico City through a window from a dentist chair. It was 1985. I think I even remember the registration: FH BUF. Beautiful aircraft!


We guess the dentist was easy on the anesthisia if you stil remember that well Rafaël! We did have a 747-300 flying back then with the registration PH-BUF.

Jacky and Miranda

Doug Stever-Åkesson

I had the wonderful opportunity to fly on a KLM 747 they remain to this very day my favorite aircraft.


Great to read that the KLM 747 is your favorite to! Thanks, Jacky and Miranda


And it will be our favorite for years to come. Thank you for reading our blog Doug.
Jacky and Miranda


Not that is a 747-8 and not 747-800.


We stand corrected Charles. Old habits, I guess. The newest version is indeed the 747-8


I said goodbye as cabin crew when I retired 11 years ago. I flew on them for 28 years. It’s the only long time relationship I’ve managed! Amazing versatile piece of engineering but each one I worked on had a soul. Lucky me!


One could do worse James in a long term relationship like that
Enjoy your retirement!

Roland Pertler

Sad news that we won’t be able to enjoy KLM’s 747-400 much longer. I had the pleasure to fly on them numerous times, when KLM was still serving Bali. The 747 is surely the best looking aircraft in the skies. And KLM’s colors add even more glamor to it. Not to forget KLM crews. Simply the Best!
It’s a pity that KLM does not opt for the 747-8 to replace the 747-400 as Lufthansa did. I wonder why.


Thank you for your compliments Ronald. We think you’re simple the best to!

Pim Bouwens

When will the last commercial flight be? I realy want to take that farewellflight!! I think renewal of the fleet is outmost important for sure. But stll… the 747 “jumbojet” speaks to all of our imagination. At the Aviodome, people can look inside a 747. So she will not be forgotten. The 747 is excatly as old as i am….so that’s why i want to fly with her…for good times sake…:) greetings, Pim Bouwens


We don’t know yet Pim, when the last commercial flight will be. But we guess there will be a lot of interest from people of all ages. We do know we would like to be on it as well, so hope to see you then!
Greetings, Jacky and Miranda

Wolf Mielert

I worked “way back when” on the Pratt & Whitney engines for the first 747s. The engine shaft was longer than any shaft ever put into a jet engine (I remember ~120 inch). GE made the shaft two parts, not as efficient and balanced IMO. Our company imported a machine from Germany for the purpose of machining the interior diameter of the shaft, which had contours, thicker where the fan discs where mounted, thinner (for less weight) where there was no disc. The accuracy (dimensions and run-out) were within the tolerance of a human hair. The machine was developed during WW2 to machine the long gun barrels used in the big guns. An interesting design, and in the end put to use to serve people, rather than kill. As it should be in this world. Peace!


Thank you for your peacefull comment Wolf.
All the best, Jacky and Miranda


Thanks for your nice blog and great to see there are still so many fans of the “Jumbo” 747. Teherefore please consider the 747-8 for your renewal! I have found flying the 747 ever since my first flight an amazing experience, no other plane beats that, although the A380 comes close but in a way is too big. Luckily she is still on the route between Seoul and Amsterdam where I live and work right now. Mostly fully booked, now I understand why, it’s all these fans who love the plane!


For the comming years we wish you many more great 747 flights between Seoul and Amsterdam! All the best from Holland, Jacky and Miranda


Im sad,
I live in the usa and normally dont fly many foreign airlines. I always loved the 747 and would love to fly one but sadly all of the us passenger airlines have retired their 747s. Now they are mainly cargo jets as those are the only us buyers.

Ricardo G.Vieira

I remember my first 747 flight was from Rio to Buenos Aires by Pan Am at 1976!!! No that flight I was travelling at last row an I was changing my 36 Kodak film of my camera when It fell to the aircraft floor during the landing in BUE -Ezeiza Airport! The jumbo was so big that I couldn’t find out my 36 Kodak film! The best trip ever was in 1992 a KLM 747 from Singapure to Amsterdam at the business upper deck! I was treat as a King by the crew! Another trip was 747 KKM from Amsterdam to JFK at economy class , was an empty flight that I could lay down on a comfortable over 4 central and sleep all long trip! I’ll miss my memorable charming 747 trips!


You guys should make a world tour with her before retirement.


That’s a great idea Nicholas and we would love to be a part of that! We’ll see when the time comes…


I can’t believe the comment that the new 787 and 777 offer more comfort to passengers!
The new 777 layout is horrible in economy and economy comfort: narrow seats and aisles and as a result no chance to get some rest.
I travel mostly business class for work – when I can choose between airlines I choose KLM for the 747 specifically because it is the most quiet and comfortable Business Class Cabin I know. I flew the 777 in Business Class again two weeks ago again and it is absolutely not as comfortable. Simply way too noisy when you want to sleep and service is still ongoing.
Not yet flown the 787 but the Business Class layout is the same as Delta’s Business Class on some of their planes. It does not even compare to the 747 BC.
I understand economical reasons behind this, but don’t try to sell it to us as if the other planes are more comfortable…


Dear KLM,
It is fantastic to see an airline so passionate about the 747. For me, a long haul holiday is not complete without a flight on a 747. I will concede, that today’s twin engined aircraft, in particular the 777 are very capable. However, flying needs to be made special to draw in customers. Flying on a 777 is a very standard experience with 9 abreast seating, completely awful in 10 abreast which most airlines nowadays configure. However, the 747 is wide enough to still be spacious, even in economy. Add to that, the exclusivity on the top deck and in the ‘nose’, the 747 gives an airline so many different ways to be creative, and customers like that.
I sincerely hope that KLM recognise that a 747-8 would be very useful on certain highly premium routes and orders a ‘small’ batch of maybe 5-10 747-8s. I think it could work very nicely for the airline. As a UK resident, connectivity to Amsterdam is as easy as Heathrow, and in 5-10 years time when BA and VS have withdrawn all their 747s, I would certainly start flying via Amsterdam, just to continue flying a 747, because for me, flying is not flying unless it’s on a 747.
So KLM, take the plunge, and buy a 747-8 in addition to 777s and 787s. Don’t be just another boring airline, stand out from the crowd, continue to be a 747 operator and embrace the Queen of the Skies.


Thankfully there is still some time to book flights on this iconic beauty, but sad that she is being phased out.
Ever since I was a kid it has been my dream to get to fly on a B747, I have done it 4 times in 3 different airlines, and this summer I’ll get my biggest dream to fly on the upper deck to MEX, I am so excited and counting down the days.

I love KLM and flying through Schipol, I really hope you ladies communicate to higher management about the involvement of people and our love for KLM and specially for our regal beauty, and somebody listens that we are many people around the world that would go any lengths to be able to fly the 747

I still have not flown the dreamliner hopefully sometime soon, cause I’ve flown twice to BKK on 777, and yes I admit is more modern but I don’t think is more comfortable, I just don’t see any appeal nor feel the pride of going aboard the queen of the skies


Wow, flying to MEX in the new World Business Class in a 747-400. We are a little jealous Ramon
Have a great flight and many more dreams to pursue!
And thank you for your response.
Jacky and Miranda


She is the Queen of the fleet! It’s going to be hard to like another aircraft the way I liked the 747.


Love flying KLM 747’s, especially at extended over-ocean routes. I Always prefer the 4 engine lay-out for additional safety.
The business class in the front provides a spacious feeling, also the business upperdeck provides a good product, avoiding the influx of the crowd.
Sadly to see this aircraft replaced by the boring twins, that seem to be packed by more and more seats and are all giving a “cramped “feeling.

As a business class passenger i have sadly to move to the German flag carrier, because they have choosen to operate the 747-8 aircraft.

Eric Nestory

please order the 747-8 this bird is your identity in commercial aviation

Christopher Wahyu

Sad to see 747 go, I hope KLM considering 747-8i just like Korean air and Lufthansa who keeps 747 fleet. Cause I saw Boeing 747 is dying :(.

Allan M Jansen

Will be flying KLM in Oct YYC to AMS On our return from GVA via AMS to YYC we will have the honor of flying in the 787 Dreamliner I still remember my 1st flight on a 747 YEG to YYZ still the smoothest flight I have ever had.

Art Olyslager

I remember when my wife and I arrived in Vancouver—returning from AMS—before the pilots did as we sat in the first two seats at the front of the 747.

r ahmed

i love your plane flights good services


I will be flying the 747 to Beijing in 9 days. This will probably be the last time I ever fly in one, however I fly back from Chengdu which means I will fly on a 787 Dreamliner on that flight. I hope I like the 787 as much as I love the 747.


Very nice post. The 747 is indeed a legend.
But a leading European airline must fly Airbus. Period.

Denis Beaubien

I got to say I will have my first flight in a 747-400 with KLM in just a tad less than 7 weeks. I’ve flown in a few different Airbuses, 737 and 787, so I was thrilled to learn I would board such an iconic plane when I got my tickets.

So first flight with KLM and first flight in a 747-400. I really can’t wait. But yeah, I know I’ll probably down since I have an economy seat, but hey, I still get to ride in a 747.


Fully agree with you. 747 was such a great airplane !!
I cannot say why flying on 747 has always been a special moment. Have had a chance not so long ago to fly on it from Bangkok. Most probably my last time. But there are some great aircrafts to take the next step. What about Airbus 380 ?? Being a loyal customer of Sky Team I would also appreciate to see and fly more with airbus.

Guus Broekhof

A truly gorgeous plane, one of the most beautiful ever, but working it was not quite so nice, lol


Best flying experience ever, is landing in 747 at old honking airport via the chequered board approach, sitting at the window at the top deck


Best flying experience ever, is landing in 747 at old honkong airport via the chequered board approach, sitting at the window at the top deck

Rafael Cortez

The most and the best
Boeing 747.beautitful bird

Antonio Sergio De Biasi

Will never forget the wonderful trips to Amsterdam in the 747. Seat 3B was my preferred.



Juan Pablo Vargas

I love your 747-400 and I really miss your MD11
Congratulations on your new 787 fleet!!

Marcel de Breet

Hours and hours I spent in a B747……… not only KLM, but many airlines. I will miss her, indeeed one of the most beutuful planes ever built (tough to beat the Conny!!!!!)

David krause

Im booked on the delta retirement flt. Already tears


My family likes it because of her speed. To Curacao, Where we often go to, it differs almost half an hour with other planes!
We will miss it.

Kevin klein

Tuesday i will be making my next 747 flight from paramaribo to amsterdam. I fear that it might be the last time i will ride on this beauty.
I have flown her atleast once a year , but i’m also looking forward to the new equipment on the Ams-PBM route.
I’m gonna enjoy tuesday’s flight to the fullest!!!

Jan-Geert Haveman

Wat een leuk blog hebben jullie! Ik kijk vanavond met hele andere ogen naar de GE90-115B’s van de BVC


Dank je wel Jan Geert Alles voor onze KLM toch!?! Goeie vlucht. Groetjes, Miranda

Yvonne Peschier

We flew with 747 last Tuesday! Loved it! Very impressive to realize such a big airplane takes off just like that and landed so softly!! It was great to experience this part of history again! We will have a chance to enjoy it one more time on the way back!

Mark Percival

When will KLM actually stop flying them? I’ve never been on one and would like to do so before they are taken out of service. What routes do they currently fly?


Dear Mark, the last KLM 747 will retire in 2021. We hope you’ll enjoy the memorable experience in the next 4 years!

Olivier Jansen

Ik heb een aantal keren met de 747 gevlogen. Wat me het meeste is bijgebleven is de korte vlucht van Aruba naar Curacao. Hierdoor leerde ik de karakteristiek van zo’n zwaar luchtschip/toestel kennen. We kwamen niet hoger dan een kilometer. Niet dat dat moest, maar de trage klim en landing werden in dit geval een lesje natuurkunde. Als er weer eens eentje opstijgt en een laag rondje maakt boven de stad dan weet ik hierdoor dat het een 747 is. Ook een fenomeen is dat je het interieur hoort rommelen. Het kraakt in zijn voegen is wat dat betreft een understatement. De bagage compartimenten zijn kennelijk expres niet van beton of lego gemaakt maar van een flexibel soort koppelingen. Bij turbulentie golft het materiaal als in de branding, het geeft geen weerstand. Dit ken ik alleen van de 747! En dan nog even wat negatiefs, na 20 jaar… de 8 track muziek player was zo verrot dat de rustgevende muziek begon te zweven/janken. Ik heb geklaagd bij de purser. Die kon er niks aan doen. Ik zei toen: “zet het dan maar uit. ik wordt nerveuzer van die zwengelende vioolmuziek”. Overigens was het een legendarische avond in begin januari 1996 op Curacao, drie KLM 747’s vertrokken die avond achter elkaar richting Amsterdam. Waar het 60 graden kouder was…


It’s a shame KLM has decided not to purchase / lease at least one 747-8I, even if only as a flagship. Thankfully there are still other carriers that fly the Queen of the Skies.

Charge me 50 euro more for a 747-8i seat because it may be less economical? Fine, I’ll pay that, because travelling is not just about money and costs per mile.


As a kid, which was more than 30 yrs ago, I frequently flew one of the oldest KLM routes: Amsterdam – Jakarta. – Amsterdam.

I remember my first flight on that route with the 747-300, I believe KLM was the launch customer. Will never forget the first time I saw that big beautiful blue bird on the tarmac at Halim Perdana Kusuma, then Jakarta’s intl airport.

In those days travelling long distance was not a bore because we didnt’t let the passing of time bother us so much. On board people still talked to each other and socialized. The window blinds were allowed to be open throughout the flight because nobody felt the need to catch some sleep before the next meeting. Looking at the Himalayas in the distance was much more fun. We stopped in Singapore, Delhi, Dubai/Abu-Dhabi before landing in Amsterdam.

Nowadays it seems travelling is all about being digital in your own small touch-screen world and “saving” as much time and money as possible.

Maybe the end of the 747 is also the end of the romance of travelling as I / some of us knew it.


Thank you for sharing both your responses. We agree that travelling shouldn’t be only about economics and efficiency. That’s way KLM launched the Moving your World campaign. It is about generating memorable experiences like the one you shared, while travelling with KLM. Of course, it is a marketing tool, but we would love to bring the romance and adventure back into flying.

Wim Groenewoud

Best plane ever! Flew It in-numerous times accross the Pacific, Atlantic and always liked it! Will miss it very much! And I know the staff as well!

RH Boks

Yes the 747 are old, the capacity of the 777 is enough and the 787 is a good companion, but there is a but. The counterparts of Airbus Industrie has more comfort specially for the economy passengers (2-4-2 configuration), for business class there is not really a difference except for the KLM 777 configuration.

Final word, the choice for Boeing is not in the interest of European aircrafts industry, a little bit more protection for the own marked will be nice.

RH Boks

We fly the 747-300 and 747-400 for years to LAX,SFO,NYC and SIN. But the most iconic airplane and most beautiful airplane we ever fly with from CDG and LHR was with the Concorde. Speed is the ultimate answer for comfort.

Mónica Portela

I am really sad, it was a great plane and I have great memories … I flew many times and It reminds me of the time working for KLM MEXKKKL, MEXLLKL. MEXRRKL. MEXPOKL…. 1987-1994..
B-747 The KLM Queen of the Skies will be my favorite aircraft ever !!!!
Thank you !!!!


As everyone else here has said, I just love the 747. There’s never been something quite like it, including the A380. The 747 was the original jumbo jet. It came along when such a term didn’t even exist. I am sad that they seem to be dying out. You just can’t say enough about them when it comes to milestones and accomplishments. Thanks for posting. I really enjoy reading all the KLM blogs, and I’m totally stoked about my first KLM flight coming up in late October of this year. I’ve heard so much good stuff about KLM I can hardly wait.

Frank van der Voet

Beste KLM!
I, like many others, will be sad to see the end of this workhorse in passenger service. But I also understand the trade off between sentimentality and economic reality ( 4 engines vs. 2, 20 year old airframes etc.)
I would like to use this forum to ask if KLM fleet planning would so kindly consider ONE rotation of PH-BFC on the AMS-YYC route before she heads to the desert. I am not sure if the “City of Calgary” ever flew a revenue service to Calgary or not. I understand she is a Combi so not the ideal equipment for the route. Nevertheless…..
I would buy a return ticket in a heartbeat if this were to take place….
Denk er over na!
Frank van der Voet


Beste Frank
We love the idea and therefore checked with Operations Control. They received a request from the station as well. However they don’t consider it feasible. As you might know, since you seem to be well informed, phase out of the engines requires a tight shedule due to return conditions. And we don’t want to make promises to customers looking forward to a memorable flight if we are not absolutely sure we can keep it.
Groet Miranda

Robert Baker

King of the Skies Worldwide ! The most Marvelous and Gracious Airliner ever !


Hi does flight kl611 have wifi on board? Its a 747 406


Hi Ilya, if the flight is operated with the 747 you will not have access to WiFi on board. This is typically something for the new stars in our fleet, like the Dreamliner. For more actual information you may want to check klm.com regurlarly.
Kind regards, Miranda

Phil Hurd

I first flew on a 747 in December 1974 at age 11 from San Francisco to Honolulu. Not a KLM flight, but a United 747 “Friend Ship”, a 747-200. That amazing flight, and the sheer grandness of the 747 remain etched in my mind, nearly 43 years later. To an 11 year old, it was like being on an Apollo lunar mission! I am truly sad to see the end of the 747 in sight. As far as I’m concerned, it is the greatest lasting technological achievement of my lifetime. The 747 arrived at the same time as the moon landings. It is totally a glamorous beauty, a wonder of the world.

Prakash M C

Whenever I hear a sound of an aircraft flying, I used to look up in sky and watch until it disappear from my sight. So many YouTubes watched, Takeoffs, landing, cockpit view etc….etc…. of so many carriers around the globe.

I love this queen of skies, the Boeing 747-800. I have flown once or twice in this super jumbo in my life. Really, really, I love this aircraft.

Also, I have flown in a brand new 787 dream liner twice, wow……… what an airplane……..superb design….even though it was a short flight ( I do not wish to name the carrier’s name). I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wow………amazing interior fresh smell of high quality materials the manufactures used, the texture of the seats, carpets etc…..etc… In fact, if God willing, one day I would visit the Seattle Boeing Manufacturing Pant.

Thomas Brennan

I went on the Combi 747-400***M***. Fantastic aircraft, basically it’s a 747 70% passenger and the remaining 30% at the rear is partitioned off to cargo. They were built for western airlines going easy bound Pacific that had high cargo traffic with lower passenger numbers. KLM crew was fantastic, professional and a very enjoyable flight. I flew out on Mexico City and it’s airframe has many many hours left but retired to the desert. Why cannot they replace the engines with 747 continental engines ?? A lot of money wasted…!

Denis Beaubien

I was so excited about going in a 747 with KLM about 2 months ago. But I got to say that my experience wasn’t that great. I’m 180 lbs and by no mean obese in any way. But when I sat in those seats, it felt like I had no room at all. I was feeling sorry for my neighbors since I have broad shoulders. But also didn’t help that the seats were so worn that they needed to be replaced.

In addition, the flight I had was delayed for well over an hour and I boarded in my next flight almost immediately. Of course my luggage was left behind for the short trip. I’ve only received it 3 days after.

I was given a better seat on the return flight. Probably in apology for the delay of getting my luggage. It was nice of them, but an incident at the arrival airport made us wait in the plane for more than half an hour. So of course I missed my connecting flight by a few minutes. I had to wait almost a full hour until I could talk to an agent to book me on another flight.

While I know it’s not all the KLM’s fault, the experience wasn’t good and will be looking at alternative flights next year.

GHT Zijderveld

First time ever on a 747 was to Houston, think 1992, upgraded to what was called royal class in those days, which was an interesting experience. Tens of times there after, always enjoying this gracious ship. As said earlier by others, I can understand the economics, but to me KLM is equal to 747. It may be the colour scheme of the plane but I still think it could be considered to keep two and upgrade them for waving the flag. KLM underestimates the sentiment of international travelers from multiple nationalities with regards to the KLM 747’s. (This is not unlike Delta who apparently keeps one airbus as a grand old lady, have been given by the employees in the past.) As long as they are there I will look up every morning working in the garden living at the Dutch coast when I hear them coming overhead in the morning.


I donť completely agree with statment 777 is bigger than 747 it matters on cabin layout and airlines. 777 can take more passengers because 777 have less seat space if you will make the same gaps between seats on 747-8i she can take more passengers. And I too hope for KLM decision to buy 747-8i before Boeing stop production. I flew with 747-400 with Lufthansa and it was the best travel experience I ever have, I too flew with KLM but only A330 (I plan to fly with KLM 747) from Havana and it wasnť much better than 747 my TV wasnť working and setplace was really small (I think every Boeing is better than every Airbus). To Havana I flew with Air France 777-300Er it was good (everything working) but little old. I think Lufthansa 747-400 cabin looked same or better. I never fly with 787 but I think it is good plane but everyone know 747=Jumbo Jet but only few passenger knows 787=dreamliner. It will be really sad if you will stop 747 without replace :( . You can try to lease 747-8i from Korean air and after decide to buy them. I (and I think a lot of your passengers) will be really happy if we can meet your Jumbos in the sky for next 45 years :D .
P.s. Continue with your Boeing fleet and are you planning to buy 737MAX?


Had the pleasure of getting a chance to ride a KLM 747-400 from Amsterdam to Los Angeles in January, it was a fantastic ride and the best way to have my first long haul flight with KLM. It’s great that KLM has a 747-300 on display at a museum in Leylstad. Hopefully will get 1 last ride on one in 2019 to HKG!
747: Queen of the Skies Forever!

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